DOH launches ‘Substance Abuse Helpline’
In the spirit of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, the Department of Health has officially launched the Substance Abuse Helpline 1550 to ensure unhampered access to professional assistance for substance abuse amid mobility restrictions due to the community quarantine. In collaboration with the Dangerous Drugs Abuse Prevention and Treatment Program, the hotline will provide support and intervention to Persons Who Use Drugs (PWUDs), their families and the public. Moreover, the hotline was established to heighten awareness to the public and to allow easy access to information regarding substance abuserelated problems, despite the pandemic. Through the hotline, trained helpline operators will provide brief assessment, intervention services, and referrals to treatments. Furthermore, all calls and information will be kept confidential to protect the privacy of those who sought for assistance. The Substance Abuse Helpline 1550 is available every Monday to Friday during regular work hours, accessible by landline and mobile phones. Willie Casas According to DDAPTP program manager Dr. Jose Bienvenido Leabres, addiction is a chronic but treatable medical disorder. The treatment for mild severity of drug use relies on community-based rehabilitation programs. However, PWUDs in the moderate and severe levels should receive treatment in accredited clinics and residential drug rehabilitation centers.